Game notes: Rams, Mountaineers face off in final exhibition

Senior F Andre McFarland

Senior F Andre McFarland

Nov. 4, 2010

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Colorado State vs. Western State | Exhibition Game 2
Nov. 6, 2010 | 5:30 p.m. MT | Fort Collins, Colo. | Moby Arena (8,745)

Television: None

Radio: Colorado State Sports Network
  Denver: 560 AM (KLZ)
  Fort Collins: 600 AM (KCOL)
  Streaming: CSURams.com/allaccess
  Play-by-play:  Jerry Schemmel

Live Stats: Gametracker
  CSURams.com

Final tune-up
The Rams host their second exhibition contest of the season Saturday evening at Moby Arena, playing host to the Western State Mountaineers.  Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT. The Rams are coming off an 88-48 win vs. Regis in their exhibition opener on Tuesday.  Saturday's contest is CSU's final tune-up before the start of the regular season.

Looking ahead
Colorado State men's basketball will begin its 107th season, and fourth under Head Coach Tim Miles, hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Nov. 13 at Moby Arena. It will be the second meeting between the Rams and Golden Lions.  CSU beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 73-48, in Miles' Moby Arena debut in 2007. 

About Western State
The Mountaineers are coming off a 93-61 exhibition setback Monday at Northern Colorado. After a 14-14 campaign in 2008-09, the Mountaineers' best season in school history, Western State took several steps backward in 2009-10, finishing the season just 5-21 and 2-17 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Western State brings back a lineup that features just one of its top five scorers from the previous season: junior guard Weylan Towns (11.2 points). Towns ranked second on the team in points scored and third in field-goal percentage (.443) last season. The Mountaineers also lost their top three three-point shooters and top pair of rebounders. Senior guard Martin Graham, one of three seniors on the squad, is the top returner in rebounding with 4.0 per game during his junior season.

Head coach Mike Moskowitz returns for his fourth season at the helm of the Mountaineers' program.  He is 29-52 in three seasons.

Rams vs. the Mountaineers
The Rams will take on the Mountaineers for the second consecutive season in exhibition play. Last season, Colorado State defeated Western State 64-50 in its second exhibition game. During regular-season play, the Rams are 6-3 against the Mountaineers, but the two teams haven't played each other in a regular-season matchup since 1942.

In last season's exhibition game, four Rams scored in double digits: Dorian Green (16 points), Harvey Perry (14), Andy Ogide (13) and Travis Franklin (11). Pierce Hornung also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds in the victory.

Since 1902
The 2010-11 season marks the 107th in the history of the Colorado State men's basketball program.  The Rams are 1,090-1,145 (.488) in 2,235 games all-time. 

Excellent in exhibition
Head Coach Tim Miles is 7-0 in exhibition contests since taking over the reins of the CSU men's basketball program in 2007-08. In those contests, the Rams have averaged 84.1 points per contest, while holding opponents to an average of 63.7 points. The following is a list of CSU's exhibition games under Miles:

 

Date Opponent Result
Nov. 1, 2007 vs. Regis W, 81-74
Nov. 3, 2007 vs. Chadron State W, 107-76
Nov. 3, 2008 vs. Chadron State W, 94-78
Nov. 8, 2008 vs. Adams State W, 81-55
Nov. 3, 2009 vs. Regis W, 74-65
Nov. 7, 2009 vs. Western State W, 64-50

MWC preseason poll
The Colorado State men's basketball team was selected to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference preseason media poll when the standings were released Oct. 12 at MWC men's basketball media day at the studios of The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network.

The fifth-place prediction marks the highest preseason ranking for the Rams since CSU came into the 2003-04 season as the predicted third-place finisher.  The Rams entered that season coming off of the 2003 MWC tournament championship to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament the previous March.  Below is the complete MWC preseason poll:

Rank School (first-place votes) Points
1. San Diego State (21) 261
2. BYU (5) 220

3.

New Mexico (3) 214
4. UNLV (1) 203
5. Colorado State 132
6. Utah 105
7. TCU 92
8. Wyoming 88
9. Air Force 35

Marquee matchups
Colorado State's 2010-11 schedule features 10 contests against teams receiving votes in the preseason national rankings.  The Rams first contest against a team receiving preseason attention comes Dec. 8 at rival Colorado.  The Buffaloes are receiving votes in the preseason AP top-25 poll.  Then the Rams head to Kansas City, Mo., for a matchup against No. 7/7 Kansas at the Sprint Center on Dec.11.  The Rams' MWC schedule features eight tilts against such opponents with two each against No. 24/RV BYU, No. 25/RV San Diego State, RV/RV UNLV, and RV/RV New Mexico. 

Postseason players
Colorado State enters the 2010-11  season coming off of a postseason appearance in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). The Rams' appearance in the CBI marked the first postseason berth for the program since the 2003 NCAA tournament.  Overall, it marked CSU's 15th postseason appearance. 

CSU was one of five teams from the Mountain West Conference to make postseason play in 2010.  New Mexico, BYU, UNLV and San Diego State all made the field of 65 for the NCAA tournament, marking the first time in MWC history that four teams competed for the national title.  Colorado State was the only other team to continue its season.

CBI the first step
When Colorado State Head Coach Tim Miles came to CSU three seasons ago, he clearly stated his goals for the program were to compete in postseason competition and win when they got there.  With last season's announcement that the team had accepted a bid to the CBI, the Rams took the first step toward becoming a perennial postseason contender. 

Of the 16 teams to compete in the CBI in 2009, nine of those programs went on to compete in either the NCAA or National Invitation tournaments in 2010.

UTEP (C-USA/at-large), Richmond (A-10/at-large), Vermont (America East/automatic) and Houston (C-USA/automatic) each earned berths in the NCAA field of 65 in 2010-11.

Northeastern, Wichita State, Troy, St. John's and Nevada all competed in the NIT. 

In addition, three teams that played in the inaugural CBI in 2008 went on to earn NCAA or NIT postseason berths in 2009.   Utah (MWC/automatic) and Washington (Pac-10/at-large) played in the NCAA tourney, while Tulsa participated in the NIT. 

Improved RPI
Colorado State closed the 2009-10 season with an NCAA RPI of 132, which ranked fifth in the MWC behind New Mexico (14), BYU (24), San Diego State (25) and UNLV (50), and ahead of Utah (165), TCU (191), Wyoming (230), and Air Force (247). 

Under Head Coach Tim Miles' watch, the Rams' RPI has steadily improved.  In Miles' first season, CSU closed the year at No. 273, and improved to 217th following the 2008-09 campaign.  Factoring in last season's 132 final RPI, the Rams have improved by an average of nearly 71 spots in each of the last two seasons.   

Returning production
The Colorado State men's basketball team enters the 2010-11 season returning nearly all of its production from the previous season.  The Rams return their top five leading scorers - Dorian Green (11.8 ppg.), Andy Ogide (11.7 ppg.), Travis Franklin (10.5 ppg.), Adam Nigon (8.7 ppg.), and Greg Smith (7.1 ppg.) - and their top six rebounders - Ogide (6.5 rpg.), Franklin (5.0 rpg.), Pierce Hornung (4.2 rpg.), Smith (3.8 rpg.), Nigon (2.9 rpg.), and Green (2.4 rpg.).  Below is a list of CSU's returning production in major statistical categories.

Category 2009-10 Total 2010-11 Returning Percentage Returning
Games Played 339 215 63 percent
   Games Started 160 138 86 percent
   Minutes Played 6,450 5,157 80 percent
Scoring 2,120 1,784 84 percent
   Field Goals 704 590 84 percent
   Three Pointers 177 163 92 percent
   Free Throws 535 441 82 percent
Rebounding 1,105 917 83 percent
   Offensive 354 296 84 percent

   Defensive

751 621 83 percent
Assists 340 293 86 percent
Blocks 78 61 78 percent
Steals 231 189 82 percent

Miles garners postseason honor
Head Coach Tim Miles garnered postseason honors to close the 2009-10 season when he was honored March 9 as the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. 

Miles, who took over the program in 2007, took the Rams from seven wins in his first season and nine wins in Year 2, to 16 victories in 2009-10. 

Miles also guided the Rams to their best record (7-9) and finish (fifth) in the Mountain West Conference since the league's inaugural campaign, 1999-2000, and led the team to its first postseason appearance in seven seasons. 

Ogide returns after pair of postseason honors
Colorado State's Andy Ogide returns in 2010-11 after being selected as a member of the Mountain West all-conference second team and earning NABC second-team all-district honors to close out the 2009-10 season. 

A native of Marietta, Ga., Ogide paced Colorado State in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 boards per game in Mountain West Conference action.  He finished the season as one of just three players in the conference, along with league Player of the Year Darrington Hobson (New Mexico) and Freshman of the Year Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) to average more than 12 points and seven rebounds per game in league games.  Both Hobson and Leonard were selected to the first team.  Hobson went on to be selected with the 37th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Ogide became the Rams' first second-team all-MWC selection since guard Marcus Walker in 2008, and the first all-MWC post player for the Rams since Jason Smith was named to the first team as a junior, just three months before being drafted 20th overall by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft.

Katz tabs Rams as team "on the rise"
The Colorado State men's basketball team garnered national attention this preseason from ESPN's Andy Katz.  Katz, senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com, used his blog on the national Web site to tab the Rams as a team "on the rise" under Head Coach Tim Miles, who enters his fourth year at the helm of the CSU program.  Katz says the Rams will have an opportunity in 2010-11 to crack the upper echelon of the Mountain West Conference and could be in the mix come tourney time, vying for an NCAA berth in a strong league that received four bids the year before.

Family affair
Terel Hughes and Kaipo Sabas, both juniors, joined the CSU men's basketball team as walk-ons in late October.  Both are already household names among Rams fans. Both players' fathers, Eddie Hughes and Barry Sabas, donned the Green and Gold during their playing days. 

Hughes' father, Eddie, was a four-time letterwinner at CSU from 1979-82, and went on the play professional basketball for the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. During his illustrious career at CSU, he became the first Ram to ever be selected first-team all-Western Athletic Conference as a freshman. He was a three-time all-conference selection and was named to several All-America teams before being inducted to the CSU Hall of Fame. He still holds several spots in CSU's record book, including scoring (1,360 career points, seventh all-time), assists (366, sixth), field goals made (566, fifth), steals (112, fourth), steals in a game (eight, tied for first) and freshman scoring average (15.4 points, first).

Sabas' father, Barry, spent two seasons in a Rams uniform, earning second-team all-WAC honors and the 1975 WAC Newcomer of the Year award. During his junior campaign, his first at CSU, he led the Rams in scoring with 14.2 points per game. In his two-year career, the guard averaged 13.9 points and was considered "one of the best back-court men" Jim Williams, CSU basketball's all-time winningest coach, had ever coached.

Family affair, Part 2
Colorado State's roster also includes a pair of brothers from Omaha, Neb., natives Greg and Dwight SmithGreg Smith, a sophomore forward, was a key contributor for the Rams as a true freshman in 2009-10, averaging 7.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 28 contests.  Dwight Smith, is a true freshman for the Rams this season, and comes to the Rams as a highly touted guard.  The duo, born just 15 months apart, played together at Ralston High School, where they combined to lead the Rams to a Nebraska Class B state championship in 2009. 


 

 

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